#Chewsday Challenge Wrap-Up

A few weeks ago, I recommitted myself to the #Chewsday Challenge.  As discussed, my original plan was perhaps a little too ambitious, so this time around I decided to add in one challenge at a time, with the goal of slowly and realistically building toward overall healthier eating.  The challenge for Week 1 was no booze on work nights.  Week 2, I added in fruits and/or veggies with every meal.  Week 3, I started only one serving of treat per day.  And last week, I added in protein with every meal.  I’ve now been at this for a solid month (more, if you count my first, half-hearted attempt), and I’m ready to let go of #Chewsday (and I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing about my eating challenges).  So, I’ve done one final assessment of what worked, what didn’t, and how I plan to move forward.

How did it go?

  • No booze on work nights has become pretty much habit.  I may have a beer here or a glass of wine there, but on the whole, I’m not really drinking on week nights anymore, and that’s probably the way it will stay.  I don’t need the extra calories and I don’t need any more trouble sleeping than I already have.
  • Fruits or veggies with every meal will likely always be a challenge for me.  I’m worlds better than I used to be, but I still struggle.  I have a few more tricks in my arsenal, and I am eating some veggies that I used to despise, so I’ll take that as a win.  I will do my best to continue to incorporate more fruits and veg, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I have a veggie-less meal.
  • One serving of treat per day is easier some days than others.  I really like having my bag of chocolate covered sunflower seeds in my desk.  They’re a satisfying treat on multiple levels, and I feel like I don’t eat as many of them as I would other sweet options.  On the whole, I think I’m more mindful about reaching for treats than I used to be, but this will definitely also always be a struggle.
  • Protein with every meal is not as easy as I’d hoped.  It requires planning ahead (is the chicken thawed? are the beans soaking?), which Ben and I are not always great at.  However, on the days I followed through with this, I noticed that I ate less overall and definitely did less snacking, so I plan to at least attempt to keep up with this.

So that’s it for the #Chewsday Challenge, at least for me.  I won’t be posting any more weekly updates or issuing any more challenges.  But I will DEFINITELY continue to work on these four points above, because they are working for me.  And of course, I’ll be doing periodic check-ins with my accountabilibuddies, cause they’re hilarious and awesome.

What’s your number one healthy eating tip/trick?

#Chewsday Reboot Week 4

A few weeks ago, I recommitted myself to the #Chewsday Challenge.  As discussed, my original plan was perhaps a little too ambitious, so this time around I’ve decided to add in one challenge at a time, with the goal of slowly and realistically building toward overall healthier eating.  The challenge for Week 1 was no booze on work nights.  Week two, I added in fruits and/or veggies with every meal.  Last week, I started only one serving of treat per day.

How is it going?

  • No booze on work nights.  This is still going fairly well.  I did have one beer on Tuesday night, but I thought about it long and hard before making a conscious decision to indulge.  It was one single, lonely beer sitting in the fridge, and I put it out of its misery 🙂
  • Fruits and/or veggies with every meal.  This is also going surprisingly well.  Even if I don’t have produce with a particular meal, I usually end up having fruit as a between meals snack, which I feel sort of evens things out.  Yes, some days are better than others, but on the whole, I’m eating more fruit and veg, which is a good thing.
  • Only one serving of treat per day.  This is still sometimes a challenge.  Obviously, this weekend was tough because of the wedding and dinner party.  I slipped up on Saturday and had some chocolate covered sunflower seeds in the afternoon, and then had the Dacquoise at the dinner party, but on the whole, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  I’m trying to be more conscious of the treats I have and when I have them, and that’s what matters.

This week’s challenge:  protein at every meal.  I don’t think I eat enough protein during the day–particularly at lunch, which usually leads to excessive snacking and eating way too effing much at dinner.  If I eat more protein all throughout the day, I’m hoping that overall, I’ll take in less calories and less junk.  Graze has been pretty good getting me yummy snacks, but I plan to also buy some bulk almonds to keep in my desk at work for protein power on days when the runger strikes.  AND I’m going to pick up some chocolate covered sunflower seeds so that when I can’t resist the craving for sweets, at least I’m getting some protein too.

I found this awesome protein chart on Pinterest (where else?), so I’m hoping it will be a helpful guide for all of us.


If you’d like to join in on the #Chewsday Challenge, come find me and my accountabilibuddies on Twitter.  Tweet us your eats, triumphs, challenges and questions and use the #Chewsday hashtag.  I promise, we’re a good time.  Especially if you like cupcakes.  And Disney.

@RaeisaDarlin (me)

@PrincessRunners (Lisa)

@KellieEbe (Kellie)

@paradeinpink (Nicole)

@Vixen1267 (Kimberly)

What’s your favorite form of protein?


#Chewsday Reboot: Week Two

Last week, I recommitted myself to the #Chewsday Challenge.  As discussed, my original plan was perhaps a little too ambitious, so this time around I’ve decided to add in one challenge at a time, with the goal of slowly and realistically building toward overall healthier eating.  Last week’s challenge was no booze on work nights.

So, how did it go?  Honestly, not too badly.  Monday night, I went out for beer and horseshoes with my friend Sharon and some of her friends.  Monday is the only night we do this because Sharon’s friend is the bartender on Monday nights and can hook us up a bit.  Theoretically, this doesn’t count as cheating because I didn’t recommit to the challenge until Tuesday, but this may be a semi-regular thing, so we’ll see.  Thursday, I went out for Mexican food with my friend Rebecca, and what’s Mexican food without a margarita?  Exactly.  However, I only had one, and it was delicious.

Photo Jul 17, 5 19 15 PM

I guess I would grade myself B- for the week.  When I think about the fact that I had beer and wine in the fridge at home and managed to resist, it’s not half bad.  I also only had one margarita, when I could easily have had another (restaurant is in walking distance of home).  On the whole, I’m thinking more about choosing to drink or not drink, and what it’s going to mean for me.  I’m excited to build more on this in the weeks to come.  I know it will help me cut out a lot of empty calories and sleep better.

Now it’s time to add another challenge in along with no booze on weeknights.  This week’s challenge is fruits and/or veggies with every meal.  This doesn’t sound hard, but is actually quite a challenge for me.  As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t really start eating veggies until I was an adult, and continue to struggle with incorporating them.  I’m better than I was, but definitely not as good as I could be.

Thankfully, I’ve got some great accountabilibuddies in Kimberly, and Lisa, and we welcomed two new recruits, Nicole and Kellie this week.  We bug each other, support each other, and mostly make each other laugh.  I dream that someday we’ll all do a RunDisney race together, but unfortunately that’s not happening anytime soon for this broke girl.  Anyway, if you’d like to join us as we support (and enable) each other on Twitter, use the #Chewsday hashtag and come find us!






What’s your favorite way to incorporate produce into your meals?

#Chewsday Check-In

As you probably know by now, I have teamed up with Princess Lisa at Prairie Princess Runners and Kimberly at Black Dog Runs Disney for our #Chewsday Challenge.  We’re all looking to clean up our nutrition so that we can perform better in training and upcoming races.  I have my first half marathon in just under 2 weeks, so proper fueling will be essential for the time-being.

My goals, as laid out in my original Chewsday post:

  • Only one serving of “treat” per day
  • Fruit and/or veggies with EVERY meal. 
  • Plan meals–including lunch.
  • Lean protein at every meal.
  • Snack better.
  • No booze on work nights.

So, how is it going?  As well as can be expected for someone who was on vacation for 5 days, then had a BBQ drinking party at work, and then went to an over-the-top, open bar wedding weekend.  Even though I didn’t always stick to my goals, I was definitely more conscious of my choices than usual, and made good choices more often than I made poor ones.  My accountabilibuddies were a huge help!

There’s always room for improvement, but I feel that for the most part, I’m doing A LOT better.  Unfortunately, I’ve realized that there’s always going to be some excuse–birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, vacations etc–that will tempt you to stuff your face and drink like you’re back in college.  It’s all about finding balance, and deciding where your priorities lie.  Right now, my priority is the half marathon on June 29.  On June 30, my priority will most likely be couch potato life.  At least for a little while.

Ben and I did our meal planning and grocery shopping on Sunday night, so this whole week should be taken care of.  We’ve got lots of produce and protein, and most of the junk is out of our cabinets (there was lots of leftover chips and salsa after the party on Friday, which somehow ended up coming home with me).  I should have no problems with avoiding booze and excess treats, so I’m feeling really good about this week 🙂

Are you interested in joining the #Chewsday challenge?  Connect with us on Twitter and start using the #Chewsday hashtag.  We’ll be doing regular updates at least until the end of the month.  Black Dog Runs Disney on Twitter.  Prairie Princess Runners on Twitter.  Darlin’ Rae on Twitter.

P.S.  I recently joined the Bloglovin’ community.  I was having a hard time keeping up with my non-Wordpress blog friends, and Bloglovin’ makes it a lot easier to keep track of everyone and not miss out on anything.  If you’re interested in following my Bloglovin’ feed, feel free to click the link below–I’ll also be adding a button to my sidebar 🙂

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Manic Monday and Double Digits!

This is going to be a slightly different Manic Monday–since my vacation recap post covered everything through last Wednesday, I’ll start with Thursday and go through the weekend.  Things should be back to normal next week 🙂

Thursday (Scheduled 3 mile run)

I was pretty pooped after my long drive on Wednesday, so I did absolutely nothing on Thursday except relax.  It was great.

Friday (Scheduled rest day)

We had a big celebration at work in honor of being voted one of the best places to work in the State of Vermont–first we did a chocolate bar making class at the South End Kitchen.  Can you say delicious?  My friend Emily taught the class, so it was really nice to see her as an added bonus.  Then, the rest of the day was a luau back at the office, with beer pong, cornhole, and lots of food.  I tried to be good, and honestly, I didn’t eat as much as I could have, so I call that a win.  I thank my #Chewsday partners Kim and Princess Lisa for supporting me through what could have been a nutritional disaster.



In process

In process

The finished product.  Yum!

The finished product. Yum!

Saturday (Scheduled 10 mile run)

I’m gonna talk a bit more about this later in the post, but for now, I’ll just say, I DID IT!  This was my first ever double digit run, and the longest training run I’ll get before my half in 2 weeks.  Thank jeebus.

Photo Jun 14, 11 07 11 AM

Then we went to our friends’ wedding up in the Northeast Kingdom.  It was a blast.  Too much food, and too much booze were consumed.  I will pretty much consider this a cheat weekend of epic proportions.  Time to dial it back and get back on track with the #Chewsday Challenge.

Sunday (Scheduled rest day)

We sort of continued the excess train on Sunday–I had several beers and didn’t eat all that well, but it could have been worse.  At least we did our meal planning and went grocery shopping, so I’m ready with healthy meals and snacks for the week.  I also did a short upper body circuit after dinner because I was feeling gross.

So, back to the long run.  I can’t lie, 10 miles was really, really challenging.  I would like to blame it on being overtired, or dehydrated, or the fact that it was relatively warm and humid, but I’m not sure I can.  I had to take a couple of walk breaks, especially while eating my Gu’s.  The route I take for my long runs has a couple of long, gradual hills that are really punishing, mentally and physically, and one of them is at mile 7-8, so by that point I was exhausted and just ready to be done.  Thankfully, after that point, the finish was all flat or downhill, so I was able to finish strong.

They say that if you can hit 10 miles during training, adrenaline will carry you the final 3.1 in a race.  I really hope that’s true, because it took everything I had to make it to 10 miles on Saturday.  I had to run by my house to get that last tenth of a mile, and I was ready to scream or cry or both.

Honestly, though, I think the fact that it was so hard, but I did it anyway, is a good thing.  I know what it feels like to want nothing more in the world than to give up, to just stop running, but to keep going anyway.  I even started running again after taking walk breaks, which are usually deadly for me–once I stop running, I don’t usually start again.  So I guess I’m ready?  I’m doing a mini taper, so I’ll continue my 3 mile short runs during the week, and my long run on Saturday will only be 6 or 7 miles.  Then two short runs the following week, and then it’s show time.  Holy crap.

Did you have a nice weekend?

Have you been to a wedding recently?


Fitletic (iFitness) 16 oz Hydration Belt Review

First and foremost, Happy THORsday, everyone!

Photo May 08, 7 09 49 PM

I hope you’re all enjoying your week.  We are having some delightful, sunny, warm weather here in the good ole’ 802, and I have been loving it.  My morning and evening rides to and from work have been beautiful.

Now before we get down to the review, I want to remind everyone that Princess Lisa, Kimberly and I are hosting a #Chewsday  healthy eating challenge for the month of June.  We are each other’s Accountabilibuddies, and we’re posting our eats and struggles on Twitter using the hashtag #Chewsday.  If you feel like joining in the fun, come find us at @PrincessRunners, @RaeisaDarlin or @Vixen1267.  Hopefully, we can all help each other out.  I know I personally have been making much better choices already because I know that they’re going to see whatever I post.  Accountability for the win!

And now, the actual post for the day…

As always, all opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I was not asked to review this item and I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.

Hydration Belt

I’ve never tried any other hydration belts, so I don’t have anything to compare to.  I bought this based on Amazon reviews.  I was originally looking at the Ultimate Race belt, but since the race belt by itself was almost $30 and each of the add-on water bottles was another $13, it only made sense to buy something where they all came together.

The Fitletic/iFitness 16 oz hydration belt is what I ended up with, to the tune of about $43.  The belt has 2 built in bottle holsters, with 2, 8 oz, BPA-free, dishwasher safe sport bottles.  There is a neoprene pouch between them that has a little divider to keep keys/credit cards/ID separate from your phone.  There are also toggles that are supposed to hold your race bibs so you don’t have to pin them to your shirt.  I’ve used this on 4 or 5 long runs, and will most likely use it for my half at the end of the month.


  • So far, 16 oz of liquid has been plenty for my long runs.  I fill one bottle with Nuun and one with plain water
  • The bottles are easy enough to get out of the holsters, but don’t slip around while running
  • The belt stays in place–no bouncing or jiggling.  Most of the time I forget it’s even there.  I do wear it around my hips rather than on my waist, which may make a difference for some people.
  • I have not had an issue with the bottles leaking.  The sport tops don’t technically have a stopper–they’re open at the top all the time.  I actually took the belt off and tossed it on the floor after my first use, and about 20 minutes later when I came to my senses (8 mile runs turn me into a brainless lump) I ran over expecting a puddle on the floor.  There wasn’t one.  Score!


  • The main problem is that the pouch simply isn’t big enough.  It barely fits both phone and fuel.  Cramming both in there makes it impossible to access one without removing the other, and I always have to either stop or slow down when I’m rummaging around in there.  There is an add-on phone pouch available, but that’s another $20, which would bring the total cost for the belt up to $60.  I’m probably just going to buy a separate arm band that I can use by itself on shorter runs, and use with the belt on longer runs.
  • I wish the pouch didn’t open in the middle.  It just seems like a really strange design choice.  Every time I open it, I’m worried that the contents will spill out.  I think it would make more sense for the zipper to be on top of the pouch.
  • I’m not sure that the bib toggles are all that useful.  I wear this belt down around my hips, which means that my bib would end up down in front of my legs.  I suppose if you wore the belt at your natural waist, you wouldn’t have this issue.
  • The pouch is not waterproof.  This isn’t a huge issue, because a ziploc baggie does the trick, but it would be a nice feature.

Overall, I would say I’m satisfied with this hydration belt.  It’s certainly not ideal, but for the price, I’ll continue using it for a while.  If I decided to do more, longer races (which at this point is very likely), I may decide to try something else.  I just hate spending a bunch of money on something and not having it work out, so I’ll probably just make it work for a while.

Do you use a hydration belt on long runs, or do you use a handheld bottle, or another option?